Time to continue with the development cycle of reky. We already started working with Konstantinos Sfikas, our new collaborator. We made the final decisions and defined the art style of reky and feel satisfied with the result. Next goal is to work side by side to deploy both graphic and level design up to the 100th level. The background of Konstantinos as an architect as well as the fact that we share a common view regarding art makes him the right person for this work.
Our discovery trip to Berlin on February and March was full of meetings, conferences, and events. We also enjoyed co-working at the wonderful space of Ahoy in Berlin during our stay.
We came back exhausted but satisfied, nevertheless! We got our first feedback while showcasing – for the first time – an early stage version of our new puzzle game, reky. “Challenging game”, “Interesting / Unique gameplay”, were some of the words that we heard repeatedly. These first reactions fulfilled our expectations about this game. So now we even more eager to get back to development!
While attending the Casual Connect Europe 2017 conference, that took place in a huge space in Berlin, we followed many interesting lectures. Some of them regarded freemium economics and monetization models. What caught our attention was the quite big indie scene, that consisted of hundreds of new developers, showcasing their games and prototypes on the same event.
Data Driven vs. Design Driven panel.
After the development of “The Minims”, an adventure game, we decided to start working on a different genre and style. So we started off with a minimalist style based on a black and white color palette, quite the opposite of what we have done in the previous game. Also, we eliminate the storytelling elements this time, so we ended up to with a dot, some blocks and the exits… and color matters!
Visit official reky site
A presentation of basics of Agile Methodologies, entitled “Applying Scrum to small indie teams”. Maria Aloupi, beyondthosehills at 19th Meetup of Greek Game Developers at Stone Soup, Athens. 19.02.02016
We are happy to announce that the launch of the Windows/Mac/Linux edition of The Minims – A New Beginning has been scheduled for Q4 2015.
This is not another porting
Even if the game has already been released for iOS, this is not just another mobile game porting! The Minims – A New Beginning has been developed with the intention to offer an equivalent experience on a multiplatform level. And we strongly believe we have done so!
What’s new in the PC/Mac version
among other coding-geek stuff…
- Optimized user interface
- Upgrade overall graphics & animations
- More skip choices for recurring cinematics 🙂
- Audio remastering
The game has just been submitted on Steam’s Greenlight.
Vote for us on greenlight
Alternative Magazine Online recently reviewed iOS point-and-click adventure game The Minims – A New Beginning, describing it as “a truly lovely and lovingly made experience that asks you to embark on a journey into the unknown and will leave you with a warm smile upon your face once the final destination is reached.” It is therefore with great pleasure that AMO presents an exclusive online interview with game developer Andreas Diktyopoulos from beyondthosehills studio!
Read the full interview
Hi Andreas, thank you for your time and welcome to Alternative Magazine Online!
Thank you for having me and for your review.
When, where and how was beyondthosehills conceived? Is there any particular meaning behind the studio name?
A typical morning in March 2011, I came in the office and said “Let’s start making video games!” There was an office in downtown Athens/Greece at the cultural space ABOUT: which my wife Maria and I had founded in 2010. We have organized over 100 cultural events over the years, such as contemporary-classical music concerts, contemporary art exhibitions, lectures and workshops.
We had a different name at first, which was too encrypted and difficult to remember, too difficult to say even! At the very moment we finished the first major update of The Minims, we knew that we had to change the name and rebrand our team. The name “beyondthosehills” was conceived as a reference to stories’ opening sentences, as a symbol of beginnings of narrations in general…
I grew up in the countryside with my brother and every summer we would explore the whole area around our home. Exploring, and discovering what was beyond those hills kept fascinating me as a child. It was like a private journey which somehow concealed another basic concept which I was always fascinated by as well: infinity. Behind a hill there is another hill and so on…
How did the game change between the original release and the new (final?) version, A New Beginning?
It has changed a lot! Actually, we could say that it is a quite different game as far as the graphics, music, puzzles, the user interface, and the overall feeling are concerned. The only things we kept from the early versions were the main story (and backstory), the characters and the topology of the world.
What is the technology that powers the game?
The game was made with Unity and we were extremely happy when Unity recently added our game to their showcase gallery. Even if most people may believe that Unity offers a lot of out of the box solutions for game developers, most professional game developers would agree that in order to achieve a specific result, there are a lot of custom-made features you have to develop. So do I.
For the graphics part, I mainly used Lightwave. I know… not a common solution for game productions, but actually I’m very familiar with it since I have been using it for many years now, so it was the obvious choice for my workflow. Nevertheless, I think it’s a great 3D software, but I fully understand why it’s not preferred by the game production industry.
What is a Minim?
Minim is the singular of Minims, which is a species of creatures in the world I have created. It is not the main species of that world but it’s definitely the main species in our story. The characteristic of these creatures is their minimally shaped curvy body with a pair of eyes. So we decided to call them Minims as an abbreviation from the word minimal.
When our story starts the player sees only the main Minim character of the game, Mii, who tries to find his beloved Minim wife Mo. In the intro, we clarify that these are the only Minims left in this world, or so they believe…
Actually, we have a whole background story about the Minims and the world they exist in, which we would be grateful to exploit if a future opportunity arises.
The storyline feels deceptively simple at first but eventually deals with some pretty interesting themes. Did you want to leave some interpretation of Mii’s journey up to each individual player or is there a definitive explanation for the events that occur?
The story I have in mind is very specific. The events that occur have been designed and meticulously placed in a specific space-time frame. But there are a lot of things that we don’t clarify or reveal to the player. For example, we don’t say much about the story of Mo, or who the Elder-Minim is, nor what his particular role in the story and the lives of the Minims is. And of course, there is the “Intermission”!
At this point, I would like to clarify that my intention is not to define what is right or wrong or what someone has to do with his life. I just present the story of the characters I have created. This is the story of Mii. So when you have to choose to follow the path, you don’t choose for yourself. You choose on the behalf of Mii. It’s a predestined story.
Nevertheless, there will always be room for free interpretation on an abstract level about Mii’s journey that each individual player can make.
Read the full interview
THE MINIMS – A NEW BEGINNING: UN VIAGGIO PUNTA E CLICCA
Scritto da Elena Moroni il 5 maggio, 2015
Come ormai ben sapete, a noi piace particolarmente segnalarvi i migliori indie game in circolazione che, pur non godendo di alcuna fama e particolare pubblicità, meritano comunque di essere notati e soprattutto giocati. È proprio questo il caso di The Minims – A New Beginning, un titolo creato dai ragazzi di beyondthosehills studios, un piccolo team di sviluppo situato in Grecia.
In questa avventura incontreremo Mii, un simpatico Minim che intraprenderà un importante viaggio alla scoperta di sé stesso e, soprattutto, alla ricerca di Mo, la sua compagna scomparsa misteriosamente.
Ciò che caratterizza questo particolarissimo gioco è proprio il fatto che non andremo a vestire i panni di nessun personaggio. Per interagire con l’ambiente dovremo infatti “puntare e cliccare” su oggetti e personaggi per scoprire cosa accade al nostro passaggio, risolvendo così enigmi e rompicapi il cui superamento significherà un importante passo avanti per il Minim.
Ciò farà di noi un’autentica guida spirituale per Mii: dovremo infatti guidarlo verso la buona strada da percorrere, lasciandoci magari guidare dalla perfetta colonna sonora – composta da Maria Aloupi – e dalla grafica semplice ma in grado di regalare emozioni visive difficili da dimenticare.
Non è semplice descrivere un gioco tanto semplice quanto delicato come The Minims – A New Beginning, il mio consiglio è quindi quello di scaricare questo incantevole indie game, per immergervi nel mondo di Mii e rimanere stupiti così come lo sono rimasta io.
Read the review from the official site
The Minims – A New Beginning for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is a point-and-click (point-and-touch?) adventure game created by beyondthosehills studio, a self-described ‘tiny indie development team based in Greece’. The work of a single developer, Andreas Diktyopoulos, an early version of the game appeared in 2013 as a benchmark test. The Minims – A New Beginning is an almost complete reboot with improved story, length, puzzles, graphics and sound. Players take control of Mii, a Minim who must embark on a journey of self-discovery to find his missing life partner, Mo.
Although The Minims – A New Beginning is currently only available for smaller mobile devices, the graphics immediately convey a sense of quality and – perhaps most important of all for a game about undertaking an epic journey – scale. Mii lives with Mo ‘on the top of the rock’, a towering pillar high above a desert wasteland. A furry yellow limbless creature with large protruding eyes, players must wake Mii to start his day by making a spider come down from his bedroom window… and blow a trumpet.
Read the full review
The Minims – LITE edition now on iOS for FREE! In the LITE edition, the player is introduced to the Minims world through several snapshots of the story.
Get free now!
+ new Intro / kind of 🙂
+ UI got a major facelift
+ chapter 1 & 2 graphics improvements
+ major optimisation for very old devices [iPhone 4 early version]. No more crashes in Interlude (even in my iPhone 3GS)!
+ some audio improvements
+ minor bug fixes
After the last Major update on the end of February 2015, we decided that we didn’t like the user interface [menus, task manager, achievements menu…] very much, so we started to redesign the whole UI from the scratch.
Finally, we have just finished with the new UI for the iOS version!!! [April 31, 2015]
All the code for the new UI is a custom code in Unity without the help of GUI layer or the new Unity UI system. After experimenting a few days with the Unity new UI system we found that it was too risky at that stage to use it. So we build some custom classes to manage a custom UI system with dynamic capabilities for multiple screen sizes.
Check out for the new update and have fun!
It was an awesome night at “The Cube Athens” space! [6 February 2015]
We presented our game “The Minims – A New Beginning” to our greek developer friends for the first time.
Here we are, with the final version of the game! In this version, we changed all of the 1s chapter’s puzzles, as well as some of the puzzles from chapter 2. We also added a few storytelling details throughout the game. These changes were necessary for the consistency of the game’s mechanics and storytelling. In addition to that, we improved the UI and some in-game graphics. Finally, we introduced the sub-title “A New Beginning” which reflects the storyline of the complete game.
Go to official The Minims site
It was December the 20th of 2012. Andreas was sitting at his desk, making some sketches on his notepad. You could definitely tell that he was preoccupied. After several sketches, he turned on his iMac and started modelling a 3D object. Then he called Maria to show her the first of the Minims. It was Mii & Mo. Somewhere among his sketches was an enormous rock, in the middle of a vast desert, with three buildings standing on top of it. This was to be their home. And thus the Minims universe was born!